How to Help Pay for College


Finding the best college is a dream, but paying for college can be a nightmare. Deacon John Wilson, the director of Enrichment and Education has 5 major fail proof tips to help you navigate through financial aid, student loans, and grants. Do you have any helpful tips? Share them with us below!

Instagram: Capturing Your Christian Walk

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:::click click goes the camera:::

Capturing life’s moment day by day has progressively become a billion dollar app that we call Instagram.  In the Instagram world, you will typically see your friends showing pictures of quotes they love, foods they’ve cooked, eating at their favorite restaurants, or just things they’ve seen along on their everyday walk. Instagram has given the ability to have fun with your photos with cool altering depth effects or resolutions for all of your pictures. But if could captured your life through photos…would they tell a life of love and holiness?  Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the LORD your God has forbidden you. Deuteronomy 4:23

:::click click goes the camera:::

We cannot forget that God is the master photographer, architect, and developer over our life.  As a parishoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3 NIV

So we ask you this question, If God was to Instagram your life, what pictures would He take of your Christian walk with Him? Would it be filled with collages of you witnessing to others, using your gifts God has given you, and studying His word? Or would he take a pictures of you falling back into your old ways, pictures of distortion because of the confusion in your life, gossiping to friends or would most of your pictures just be a blur?

Share your thoughts…if God summed up your life in a photo album, what would He find? :::click click goes the camera:::

Memorial Day: A Time for Reverence

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Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Roman 12:15

At cemeteries and monuments across the nation,  small flags flutter by military graves-makers for those who fought valiantly for a cause they believed in. Although Memorial Day honors those who gave their lives, we are encouraged to be mindful of the soldiers who have returned as shadows battling addictions brought on by what they have seen or done. Involvement in such things is against one’s nature and against the teachings of the Lord. Imagine the moral and emotional battle taken place in the minds of our brave soliders. They are not in a position to question, only to obey those in charge with the hope and belief that liberty and justice is being served. They walk among us, hurting and forever changed.

People who gave their lives in service to our country are the reason for Memorial Day–even as we look forward to cookouts, beach towels strewn on lawns and laughing children. Memorial Day is a time to enjoy our lives protected by those who have fought and still fight honorably. We cherish the lives of the “Home of the Brave.”

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Contending for the Faith

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Jude 1:3

There is a very popular quote that states, “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” In the sermon, “Contending For The Faith,” Pastor Michael Stevens talks about the body of Christ standing firm on what we believe. He warns us about turning our backs on the faith and against our Lord and Savior. There are many times that trials and unforeseen struggles hit us on our path to righteousness and our faith is tested. This sermon will encourage you to turn to your faith and to believe God for His Word and His works. He has reveled himself to you once and He will do it again, but what we believe must not falter due to the circumstances. The circumstances will always change but our God will remain the same yesterday, today and forevermore.

 

The Presiding Bishop’s Absentee Ballot Initiative

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“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.  For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.  For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.  Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” Romans 13:1-5

As we approach voting day, we would like to make all Saints of God aware of Presiding Bishop Blake’s Absentee Ballot Initiative – An Episcopalian Call to Political Responsibility.  Bishop Blake encourages us to take voting seriously and considers it a call of duty, as we are both Christians and American citizens.  The Bible informs us that we must submit to the authority of appointed leaders.  Therefore, we must be participants of those laws that are implemented, considering it a believer’s duty to participate in the judicial system.

Bishop Blake strives to accomplish these four things in his initiative:

  1. Educate churches and pastors on the importance for biblically faithful voters to vote their biblical values.
  2. Partner with pastors and churches to encourage members to participate in the election process.
  3. Develop and promote a strategic Absentee Ballot and Action Plan to encourage absentee voting as needed in respective states, incorporating strategies at the national, jurisdictional, district and local levels throughout the Church of God in Christ within respective communities.
  4. Develop an administrative toolkit for the Presiding Bishop Absentee Ballot Initiative including moving “Souls to the Polls.”

Absentee Voting is voting on a ballot by mail or picking up a ballot for someone who is unable to go to the polls themselves.  You must request an absentee ballot to your Supervisor of Elections.  To help in this endeavor, Bishop is urging us to create steering committees within our neighborhoods, considering the three objectives of this initiative: registration, education, and mobilization.  Recruit volunteers to help spread the word and objective by passing out materials and making people aware of the initiative.  Also, we should create activities for churches and pastors that push the objective and prescribed guidelines of this initiative.

In an effort to get as many “Souls to the Polls” as possible, Bishop Blake urges us to consider this plan of action as a tool to encourage the Saints to vote this coming election: Focus on the areas of registration, education and mobilization.  Understand voting in your particular state, making sure that each person that wishes to participate in the absentee ballot is registered to vote.  Prepare a calendar of events leading up to the election with volunteers and congregants of the Church of God in Christ.  Meet and encourage collaboration with local board of electors and state’s election officials.  Plan deadlines and remind people of key dates and providing directions to polling locations.  Develop a database of zip codes tracking the progress in your area to submit to this initiative.  Share information by having discussions about politics from a biblical perspective.  Evaluate past elections and past terms of political office to decipher what worked and what did not work.  Lastly, thank everyone that participated and celebrate all your dynamic efforts.

Church of God in Christ does not push any individual to vote for any particular candidate.  We only encourage each member of the body of Christ to make sure that they cast their vote based off their belief and faith in God’s word.

21st Annual Prayer Conference

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Prayer Breakfast

21st Annual Prayer Breakfast and Conference

Join West Angeles Prayer Ministry for the 21st Annual Prayer Conference and Breakfast! In the North Campus Sanctuary We have a dynamic word from Bishop Bobby Henderson on Wednesday, July 11, 2012, Bishop Donald Hilliard on Friday, July 13, 2012. On Saturday, July 14th in the West Angeles Crystal Room, you are in for a treat from our very own Director of Prayer Ministry, Evangelist Yvonne Gibson-Johnson along with the ministry of Dr. Wanda Davis.

Last but certainly not least, Pastor Lawrence Powell will be bringing the word on Sunday, July 15th in the Cathedral both 8:00AM and 11:00AM services followed by the 7:00PM service in the North Campus Sanctuary.

 

For those of you who will be flying in, West Angeles as a number of rooms blocked off:

The Westin Los Angeles Airport ($89/night)

5400 W. Century Boulevard

Los Angeles, California 90045

(310) 417-4531

 

Sheraton Gateway Hotel Los Angeles Airport ($99/night)

6101 West Century Boulevard

Los Angeles, California 90045

(310) 642-1111

 

Tickets are available for purchase now! Get yours today! 323-733-8300 Ext. 2330.

Summer Enrichment Program

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Extended summer break can cause many students to forget lessons learned from previous semesters. West Angeles would like to help bridge that gap with its Summer Enrichment Program, geared toward middle school and high school students. This program focuses on math, writing and science, refreshing student’s memories of what they’ve already learned and providing an advantage for upcoming classes. High school seniors can also get a head start filling out college applications. The program is fun, affordable and beneficial. The price includes classes, field trips and seminars for parents. If you have any further questions about the Summer Enrichment Program, call Deacon John Wilson at 323-733-8000 extension 2628.

Click here for the 2012 Summer Registration Packages

MythBusters: Did Jesus Die on the Cross?

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You asked and we have answered.  Question: Did Jesus Die on the Cross?  Christian Education Director, Elder Owens tackles this subject for you.  Sit back, relax, and take notes as Elder Owens not only answers if Jesus died on the cross but also what does it mean to have died on a stake?  And was crucifixion an actual form of torture for the Romans?

Spring Cleaning: Tips for the Household and Spirit

During Spring cleaning we take time out to do a deep cleaning. We remove the clutter from our homes, clean stains from the driveway, even put another coat of paint on the garage. Is it safe to say that while we tackle these arduous chores, we meditate on cleansing our spirits as well?
The Bible says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2 It takes work to renew our minds and with all the hustle and bustle of life, we many times need to slow down and make sure that we are focused on the things that really matter; kingdom living, holiness and sharing the good news of Christ with others. There are many scriptures that tell us how to keep our spirits focused on Christ. Meditate on the word day and night, think of things that are holy, pure and righteous, pray without ceasing, worship and fellowship amongst other believers and fast, reminding our bodies that we can not live by bread alone. We have much work to do.

Here’s a simple check list:

1. Have you had your Spring Cleaning Devotion today?

2. Have you spoke well of God today?

3. Have you made it a point to help others?

As we are scrubbing away the dirt of the previous months, let us invite God to scrub away old habits.  Click here to download some Spring Cleaning tips from Martha Stewart.

Therapy

Testimony of a contributing writer…

When bad things happen in my life, I never cry.  I usually tend to laugh.  Even when I’m sad, I laugh.  There are certain days tears will flow from my eyes and I do not know why.  I have awoken to sadness that pierces my heart and been completely clueless as to the reason that I am feeling this way.  I know what’s right, but somehow I end up making decisions that tend to hurt me, rather than help me.  I’ve sat in my room before and asked God why is there a hole in my heart that seems like it can’t be filled.  There has always been a piece of me that felt like something was missing, and whatever that missing link is has caused me to make horrible decisions that will temporarily fill the void.  I’ve been in crowds of people and felt completely alone.  I’ve tried to talk to friends, but was unable to articulate the sadness, anxiety and hurt I felt in random moments in my life.

The Bible says, “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.  There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.”  Proverbs 19:20-21.  There are many scriptures that tell us to listen to Godly counsel, learn from the elders and surround ourselves with wise friends.  The heart is complex and many times there are so many layers to the way that we feel and the way that we react to certain situations that we are unable to clearly identify the root.  Therapy is such a taboo topic to so many people.  It has been perceived as weakness and associated with mental illness, but the truth is that God recommends Christian counsel.  Counselors are trained to listen and help identify the pains in your life.  They do not cut out the Holy Spirit’s counsel, but they allow you to know what to pray for.

The tribulations of life can be overwhelming, and no man is an island.  God has given us people that have the gift of discernment and encouragement for a reason.  They help us to get through those difficult moments that we are unable to handle alone.  Sometimes you just need someone to talk to; someone to listen to you; someone to hear the things you’re not saying.  Christian counselors are that gift.

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”  II Corinthians 1:3-4

If you are seeking a Christian counselor, we invite you to contact the Counseling Center here West Angeles Church of God in Christ.